Event Title

Interdisciplinary Collaboration Through STEAM

Research Mentor(s)

Burgess, Don

Description

Schools across the country are preparing students to meet the demands of the 21st Century. One educational approach gaining in popularity is transitioning from Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) to STEAM. In this model the A stands for the incorporation of art (visual and performing), design, and the humanities. Additional key components to the STEAM model are problem-based learning and discipline integration. In 2019, I received a NASA Summer Research Grant to investigate What supports are needed to prepare educators and schools to adopt a STEAM based approach? The research consisted of three parts. First, a literature review was conducted to better understand how a STEAM model is currently being interpreted and administered in secondary education. Second, I interviewed middle-high school teachers and administrators, to gauge their current familiarity and attitudes toward a STEAM model. The interviews indicated that time for interdisciplinary collaboration and traditional school structures would limit a successful adoption of STEAM curricula and practices. Third, data from the interviews informed the design of a simulation to test strategies that could increase the efficacy of a STEAM approach in secondary education. A trial simulation was conducted, with twelve masters level teacher candidates from five different content areas, to identify what barriers they might face while outlining a STEAM based unit. What I learned from this research is that interdisciplinary collaboration is possible even with limited time and resources. However, school structures such as professional learning communities need to be in place to facilitate community and communication across disciplines.

Document Type

Event

Start Date

May 2020

End Date

May 2020

Department

Education

Genre/Form

student projects, posters

Type

Image

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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May 18th, 9:00 AM May 22nd, 5:00 PM

Interdisciplinary Collaboration Through STEAM

Schools across the country are preparing students to meet the demands of the 21st Century. One educational approach gaining in popularity is transitioning from Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) to STEAM. In this model the A stands for the incorporation of art (visual and performing), design, and the humanities. Additional key components to the STEAM model are problem-based learning and discipline integration. In 2019, I received a NASA Summer Research Grant to investigate What supports are needed to prepare educators and schools to adopt a STEAM based approach? The research consisted of three parts. First, a literature review was conducted to better understand how a STEAM model is currently being interpreted and administered in secondary education. Second, I interviewed middle-high school teachers and administrators, to gauge their current familiarity and attitudes toward a STEAM model. The interviews indicated that time for interdisciplinary collaboration and traditional school structures would limit a successful adoption of STEAM curricula and practices. Third, data from the interviews informed the design of a simulation to test strategies that could increase the efficacy of a STEAM approach in secondary education. A trial simulation was conducted, with twelve masters level teacher candidates from five different content areas, to identify what barriers they might face while outlining a STEAM based unit. What I learned from this research is that interdisciplinary collaboration is possible even with limited time and resources. However, school structures such as professional learning communities need to be in place to facilitate community and communication across disciplines.